Latest Usps Passport News

State Fair of Texas pulls out the “Passport to Texas” as this year's theme
This year's, announced this morning: “Passport to Texas.” Let State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber explain its meaning: 15_sft_theme_passporttotexas “After 128 years of bringing quality entertainment to the community, the State Fair continues …
Read more on Dallas Morning News (blog)

Postal Service's effort to fire up stamp collectors with modern twist on its
“The Postal Service created and improperly distributed a philatelic rarity,” a management alert issued last week by Inspector General David Williams said. Postal officials “strongly and inappropriately influenced the secondary (stamp) market by …
Read more on Omaha World-Herald

Your Data Is Compromised. (Yes, Yours.) What Now?
The day after Gallo's notification arrived in the mail, she spent half an hour signing up for the credit-monitoring and identity-fraud-protection service OPM offered her free of charge for 18 months, entering data like her passport number and health …

Latest Usps Passport News

Prosecutors: Minnesota men who tried to join IS made threats
Prosecutors allege Daud went to extraordinary lengths to plan his travel, provided a photo and down-payment for a false passport and used his own vehicle to drive himself, Farah and an informant to San Diego. Prosecutors say Daud had communicated with …
Read more on WANE

Police dog shows skills to students
Passport to Vermont's libraries encourages all to get out and explore. The Vermont Library Association is encouraging everyone to let their books take them on … TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer …
Read more on Rutland Herald

Firms Could Be Forced to Disgorge Profits from Tax Refund Fraud
Last week, KrebsOnSecurity ran an interview with Julie Magee, Alabama's chief tax administrator, to examine what the states are doing in tandem with the IRS and others to make it harder for ID thieves to commit tax refund fraud — a $ 6 billion a year …
Read more on Krebs on Security

$200,000 Ransom: African steals passports of 400 staff, flees UAE – Emirates 24|7

0,000 Ransom: African steals passports of 400 staff, flees UAE – Emirates 24|7
Before leaving the emirate, he sneaked into the company premises and used his office keys to take the 400 passports, before heading straight for the airport. Company officials said they had informed the police about the theft, but that it was too late …
Read more on Emirates 24/7

The name game: How to change your name after marriage
"You can go to the post office for your passport, and of course the bank to get all those accounts and documents changed," Blattner says. "Then, (in Cape Girardeau County), come to the county clerk's office in the courthouse annex building (in Jackson …
Read more on Southeast Missourian

USPS to Host Passport Fairs in Fort Worth Saturday
The U.S. Postal Service will be hosting several passport fairs at Fort Worth Post Offices Saturday April 18 to ensure that U.S. citizens get their passports at a convenient time. Appointments are not required, and customers are encouraged to arrive …
Read more on NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Latest Usps Passport News

Home for the Holidays
As of Dec. 1, however, the post office was in its new home and already bustling with customers mailing packages, filing passport paperwork, and picking up their mail from the row upon row of silver post office boxes that were moved from the previous …
Read more on Volume One

Five Extreme Drop Tests On BlackBerry Passport Reveals Its Endurance [Watch
BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen holds up the unreleased Blackberry Passport device during the company's annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo June 19, 2014. BlackBerry Ltd posted a narrower-than-expected loss as the troubled …
Read more on International Business Times AU

Latest Usps Passport News

Postal Service release suggested holiday mailing dates
Save money with ONLINE DISCOUNTS: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at and save up to 14 percent off of over-the-counter rates. Discounted rates are available for Priority, Express and International packages. Examples: …
Read more on KITV Honolulu

USPS internal audit reveals feds also interested to spy on your snail mail
Between the years 2001 and 2012, the USPS received only a total of over 100,000 requests by law enforcement authorities to monitor the mail of certain Americans, which translates to roughly 8,000 requests per year, not including requests made by the …
Read more on Tech Times

NFL team's a loser? Move on, fans
Yet the USPS needs that many digits to track a package. UPS is far more efficient, as it used a mere 18 digits to track a package. An 18-digit number is 100 quadrillion. Eighteen digits would seem enough to assign a unique number to every living thing …
Read more on ESPN

Latest Usps Passport News

Government Crowding Out, USPS Style
GovExec reports, “from banking to passport photos, nearly all postal reform stakeholders agree any legislation must unchain the Postal Service to leverage its unique, in-every-community network to create new sources of revenue.” By “stakeholders …
Read more on Cato Institute (blog)

Postal Service to open 'Mega Passport Acceptance Office' in Santa Clarita
SANTA CLARITA — On May 31, 2014, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will open a new 2,000 square foot Mega Passport Office at the Castaic Branch Post Office, located at the Santa Clarita Processing and Distribution Center, 28201 Franklin Parkway in Santa …
Read more on Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe To Retire
WASHINGTON (AP) — Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe will retire Feb. 1 after leading the agency for four years. He made the announcement Friday at a meeting of the Board of Postal Governors. The board named Postal Service veteran Megan Brennan …
Read more on Huffington Post Webinar – 2012 USPS Postage Rate Increase

This webinar focuses on the 2012 USPS postage rate increase and discusses how the new rates will affect mailing and shipping costs. Topics in this webinar in…
Video Rating: 3 / 5

Our beautiful daughter Sophia needed a photo for her Australian passport and since our attempt in the busy and understaffed post office didn’t go so well, we…
Video Rating: 3 / 5

Unique Shinning Points, USPs for Your Business in Tough Times


It doesn’t take a downturn in the economy to create problems for your business. Every business has its ups and downs even in booming markets. The question is; Are you and your business well prepared and equipped to face the challenges of a soft or hard economy?

Many entrepreneurs fear the downturn, and dread the prospects of losing their customers, their people or their profit. They reason that if the economy is weak, clients and customers will cut back on projects, stop spending and might even seek cheaper alternatives from the competition.

All of this is true, but only to certain extent.  Sure, an economic slowdown and negative consumer sentiment can be challenging for your business. Or on the other hand, it can present you with an opportunity to gain new customers and boost your sales by developing effective strategies that can work best in a declining market, and brilliant for the boom times.

Depending on the industry you are in, there are numerous strategies that you can deploy to maintain and even increase your sales, while your competitors struggle to stay afloat.

The following USPs “Unique Shinning Points”, define measurable objectives and recommend key strategic initiatives that will assist you in steering your business effectively through uncertain economic times, while others struggle to get by:

USP No. 1: Utilize the slow down time to enhance your business’ basics and fundamentals

Like a machine that needs fine-tuning, after a long period of operation, so does your business needs tightening of its knots and bolts, and greasing of its parts so as to stop the squeaks.  Start from the top by revisiting and re- enforcing your company’s values, vision and mission. Ensure that your people are motivated to keep the torch of the company’s spirit alight, by demonstrating a clear understanding of the business challenges and by articulating their contribution to uphold the company’s values at all times.

Most importantly, align your company’s objectives and values with your team’s incentives and rewards. Share the information across the whole business so as to allow your people the opportunity to show initiative. Involve your team in problem solving and ask them to come forward with innovative ideas to increase profitability, enhance productivity and reduce costs.

USP No. 2: Out think your competition

Pause for a moment and ask yourself the following question; if what I sell or offer is essentially the same as my competitors, what do I need, to be different and better in many aspects including my level of customer service, my approach to marketing, promotion and sales?

The answer to this question goes beyond creativity and innovation, to positively differentiating your company from your competitors utilizing “thought leadership” with inspiring ingenuity, which will have to become a second nature to you and your business in challenging times. Your ultimate objective is to truly stand out in the minds of your customers by utilizing visionary sales and marketing strategies to create a Unique Shinning Points (USPs) that are exclusive to your company and unique to your industry. In other words, differentiate your company positively from its competitors or die.

USP No. 3: Reactivate old leads

With just little extra sales effort, old leads can be converted into profitable business. Many leads that you gave up on in the past can be reactivated and turned around, you just have to persevere.  A study by Harvard School of Business in 2007 revealed that most sales people regardless of the industry give up too early. According to the study, 75 percent of sales to business or clients are made on the fifth sales call, 25 percent of salespeople call beyond three calls!

USP No.4: Give superior level of service to your clients

Holding on to your existing customers during tough times is like holding on to fire in your hand, it is therefore of paramount importance to your business’ survival and longevity. Going the extra mile, pleasing your customers and giving them more than their money’s worth by maintaining a sales- service excellence culture, is a sure way to sustaining the impetus in your business. Now is the time to do that extra bit that can mean the difference between just merely satisfying your customers and flabbergasting – dazzling them.

USP No. 5: Plan and Implement an aggressive new marketing strategy

The truth of the matter is that, to prevent a lull in your business from ever happening in the first place, you should market consistently and aggressively all year long and every week. Not just when you need the business. Planning an ongoing marketing strategy ensures a steady stream of new business leads. Marketing done today begins a selling cycle that will result in new business when you need it six months down the track.

USP No. 6: Add value to your existing products or services

In a downturn, customers are more concerned with price than ever before. So address their concern by making sure you give them the best value for their dollar. There is no need to “give the store” or to provide an excessive level of service. Just a little extra effort or service will be perceived as a significant increase in value by your customers. Utilize technology and social media to drive business growth and in the meantime as an added value to customer service, communication and follow up.

USP No. 7:   Be positive and enthusiastic

It is imperative that you stay positive and not to become depressed in slow business periods. If you are depressed, your people and your customers can sense your depression which might have negative effect on your internal and external business. Don’t despair, be enthusiastic, believe in your people, your products and your services, and transfer that energy of enthusiasm and belief to your people and your customers.  Don’t give up too soon, remember that you are not alone, because in a downturn everybody in the market place are under the same umbrella and going through the same conditions as you are.
Seek the help of a professional coach and mentor who can assist in addressing your strengths and weaknesses while helping you discover your inner motivation and refocusing your efforts on the big picture

USP No. 8: Suspend any planned price increases

Needless to say that a business downturn is not the ideal time for you to increase your prices, even if you feel you deserve it, and that an increase is long overdue. Rearrange your prices during this transient period of business respite to accommodate a wider range of customers.

USP No. 9: Control negative and incompetent people in your business

Negative people at the best of times can be detrimental to your success. The last thing you need during tough times is a negative or incompetent person that does not “buy-in” to your values and your enterprise culture. Control and handle these situations with courage  promptly and swiftly, and remove any one who does not  “buy- in” to your business culture, as  it takes just one incompetent or negative person to hold back the entire team.

Finally and simply put, in every business cycle, and in every businessman’s life term there are defining moments that require remarkable actions congruent with the task at hand.  However, due to the pressures of the challenging moments, business people tend to overlook the big picture. Ensure the right coaching for yourself and your team so that you can focus on “back to basics” and take your team to the next level where everyone in your company is proficient at the basics and the fundamentals. Above all, keep sight of the big picture while defining the best strategies, programs and services that will boost your revenues, position your company for continued success, and most of all, that will truly differentiate your company from the others in your marketplace.

I would like to leave you with this thought from my Mentor, Peter Drucker; “ Don’t tell me what you have learned, tell me how you are going to do things differently”


Michael Yacoub is the CEO and Founder of Advantex International. Advantex International is located on the Gold Coast, Qld Australia and provides business coaching, strategic planning and business development services. For more information on receiving guidance from a Gold Coast business coach, please visit